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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Homecoming Queen

Mother and I were not able to attend the Metzner Family Reunion in Bakersfield, California this weekend, as we had planned, due to my ill health again. I was really disappointed as I haven't seen some of my cousins in over 45 years, and so wanted to compare family stories with them all, as well as meet their children and grandchildren. In a later posting I will share some photos and info that my cousin, Jeanne, got in May on her trip to Vienna, Austria.

But the assisted living center that Mom lives in had it's 84th Annual Homecoming today; when it was started it was a home for orphaned children of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, and known as the Odd Fellows Home. It has been run as an assisted care center for seniors for many years and after the recent renovation the name was changed to the Friendship House (of course, we all still call it the Odd Fellows Home). As you can see in the photos, the grounds of the Odd Fellows complex are like a lovely landscaped park, with a nice picnic area near the Home. The high rise in the back is a senior citizens apartment building, endearingly known in the area as "The High Rise". Canon City has no other high rises. This is another of the five buildings in the complex, which is near the hospital. Before my retirement I managed the other senior apartment building (only three stories, not a high rise). There is also a new assisted living home and a nursing home.

Mother was chosen to be the Homecoming Queen, and although I was unable to attend, Joe went and took some great photos and enjoyed the picnic with Mom.

This is her Garden Party hat that we got her to wear when she rode on the float at Blossom Festival.

Here she is in her crown. One of the gentlemen who lives in the Home asked her when he was supposed to start treating her as a queen, and I told her to tell him "You should always treat me as a queen." The gentleman bowed to her twice and kissed her hand. Her family sure thinks of her as Queen Evy.

Here are King Jim and Queen Evelyn. As you can see, in Colorado, every event has to have some Broncos involvement.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Summer!

These are a few of my favorite things seen on the first day of Summer:

Rafters enjoying the second crest of mountain snow runoff in the Arkansas River at Centennial Park, Canon City. It is painful to see all this water flowing througoh while the prairies around here are so dry and we keep hearing about wildfires. At least the farmers will have irrigation water in their canals.

A Thunderhead over the Mesa and the Wet Mountains. We get these big clouds to the South, over the Wet Mountains, and to the North, over Pikes Peak, but here in the donut hole we aren't getting any rain from them.

My favorite kind of weedeaters on a field close to the Arkansas River. I'd prefer weedeaters like this in place of my small electric one or Joe's big gasoline one.

Enjoying the water and shade on the Arkansas Riverwalk.

A bee collecting nectar from a Milkweed blossom in an irrigation ditch bank garden. I always think these look like they were blown from glass. I'm so thrilled, for 3 years I've had a volunteer Milkweed come up in the Toad Haven Prairie, and this year it is are going to bloom!

What's happenin' at my beloved Toad Haven:

The Lilliputian Prairie with raised veggie garden beds seen behind the Catalpa tree in the top right.

Single Coreopsis, I also have doubles but the miniature ones with lacy leaves didn't make it through the Winter.

Stella d' Oro Daylilies.

Jupiter's Beard is beginning to bloom; I need to get more of these. It appears that my garden is running to gold and I need more blues, reds, and whites. The wild blue Flax is blooming, but only in the morning so I didn't get a photo (except for that trace behind the pink flower at upper right. The blue Veronicas and pink Echineas haven't bloomed yet. There is Baby's Breath in bloom but it doesn't photograph well.

Mexican Hats are a native prairie flower that I love.

In the same bed with this Catmint, the Mexican Hats, and Jupiter's Beard, I also have Russian Sage but it will bloom later.

Hope you are having a beautiful Summer wherever you are.

[I sure would like to be able to have this show up as I so carefully arrange it, instead of having it rearrange itself.]

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Other Ways To Spend Time

My quilting muse seems to have taken a Spring Break! The only quilting effort I've made recently is to download the block patterns for my Quilting the Names of God group, preparing the tracing paper piecing templates, and choosing the fabrics. The sewing machine is setting on the table with it's dust cover, waiting....

What little energy I can drag out is spent doing routine homemaking absolute necessities and gardening. I somehow seem to be able to find the energy to garden, probably because it develops more energy.

Cousin Don with Joe at the reunion.

Another thing I've been doing the last two months is genealogy. My Metzner family will have a reunion in Bakersfield, California at the end of June; and the Pinzenscham branch of Joe's family (his Dad's sister Blanche married Leonard Pinzenscham) had a reunion in Bennett, Colorado in May. I printed out charts and large copies of old family photos to display, as well as taking many of the books that have helped our research. It was wonderful to see the large turnout and visit with known family members as well as meeting the younger generations and in laws. It is amazing how many persons accumulate from the marriage of two people in 80+ years.

The original Van Schaick, Cornelis Aertsen, arrived in New Amsterdam in 1636 when Manhattan Island looked like this. At that time the Dutch used patronyms rather than family surnames, and Aertsen translates as Adrian's son. The family did not begin calling themselves Van Schaick after the English took over New Amsterdam and renamed it New York. As we researched the family's moves from New Amsterdam to Long Island, to Gettysberg, Pennsylvania, to Washington County Pennsylvania, thru Indiana, to Iowa, to western Nebraska, and then to Eastern Colorado early in the 20th Century (they were always on the western advance into the wilderness), we also traced the changes in the name from Van Schaick, Van Scoyock, Van Syoc, and finally Vansyoc. There are still family members on Long Island with the spelling of Van Scoy. There are over 100 versions in use across the U. S. today, my favorite being Van Sky Hawk, which sounds like the joining of Dutch and American Indian.

When we first traced the family back to New Amsterdam in the Seventeenth Century we purchased a number of books about the history of Manhattan Island, and New York, and were thrilled to find a copy of a 17th Century map showing Cornelis Aertsen's home to the east of what is now Broadway, and just north of the Wall, which is now Wall Street. Another map in the book showed the farms that Cornelis leased and farmed, which stretched from the Hudsen to the East River. ["The Historical Atlas of New York City", Homberger & Hudson.] We were thrilled to discover that he farmed the land where the World Trade Center was built so many years later.

Joe is the 10th generation of his family in the U. S., which makes our grandsons, Ben and Evan, the 12th generation. In contrast, I am a 2nd generation American Metzner, as my father's father, Frank Ignatius Metzner came from Walla, (now Wallern) Austria in 1904 on the steamship Ultonia through Ellis Island. My mother's family came to Colonial America from England, after our ancestor John Shinn, a Quaker, in 1663 was imprisoned in the Hartford gaol
for absence from his parish church services.

The reason the Metzner family reunion is being held in Bakersfield, is that when I was a baby (1939), most of Dad's family moved to California to the agricultural area in Kern County, so there are more of the family there now than still in Colorado. I call them late Okies who didn't have enough sense to go clear to the ocean but stopped in definitely unsexy Bakersfield.

I so love finding out about the history of our families and will bore anyone to death talking about it, if I get the chance. The greatest thing is finding other family members who are just a compulsive about researching so we can compare notes and assist each other.

I've always been a history nut and genealogy has given me the story of how my family branches have fit into history as a whole. It has given me a better appreciation of my forebears and helped me accept who I am and how I fit into the cycle of life.

When we attended the Pinzenscham reunion there were only 2 of the 6 children still with us. Cousin Marge who passed away at the New Year was the oldest of the P. children. Brother Don and sister Joyce were at the reunion with their families. This weekend we got a call from Joyce that Don had passed away, so we will be attending his memorial service next Monday in Aurora.

Now Joyce is the last of her generation and Joe is the last of his, both were youngest in their families, and close to the same age. They grew up together and have always been close.

This is the fourth death of a close family member since Dad passed away at Thanksgiving. I think this large dose of grief has something to do with my lack of energy these days. Thank God for gardens, and even wild grass and elm seedlings that continuously need to be grubbed out, and flowers that bring peace and joy into my sore heart.

This is the pile of grass, weeds, and elm seedlings that I pulled from this border by the driveway.